Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The Gut-Brain Connection

Researchers have shown a direct connection between the gut microbiome and intestinal permeability with the brain and nervous system. Hence the terms' Gut-Brain Axis' or the Gut-Brain-Microbiota axis.'

There is emerging evidence that disruptions in gut health, like the leaky gut, have a harmful impact on brain health and function. This Gut-Brain relationship has been most well studied in people with celiac disease and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). However, all kinds of cognitive issues can be helped with natural healing gut procedures.

The authors of a published article in the journal Microorganisms go over the research demonstrating a connection between leaky gut and dysbiosis with negative impacts on the brain. The authors state that when the intestinal blood barrier is compromised, it has the possibility to impact different organ systems of the body adversely. The brain has a similar layout to that of the small intestine because it has a barrier called the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The authors note that a leaky gut may be an underlying reason for disruptions in the BBB. The systemic inflammatory response by the immune system to the leaky gut may result in disruptive effects on the BBB. Some refer to the increased permeability of the BBB as a 'leaky brain.' 

The same authors note that a breakdown in the BBB is observed in individuals with major psychiatric disorders. The neurological disorders linked to a 'leaky brain' include autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), dementia, Alzheimer's disease, depression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, edema, brain cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and meningitis.

Interestingly, the authors of an article in Food Science and Human Wellness state that nerves traveling from the brain (vagus nerves) travel and connect with the microbiome! Therefore, the microbiome is directly influenced by brain activity. Therefore, stress responses by the brain may result in dysbiosis in the gut. Oppositely, the authors state that an inflamed gut with dysbiosis can influence brain activity by modifying neurotransmitter (brain chemical) balance. Several neurotransmitters such as serotonin, acetylcholine, histamine, GABA, and glutamate can be impacted by gut health and activity. An unhealthy gut is known to cause the release of the stress hormone in the brain called ACTH, which triggers the adrenal glands to release stress hormones.

We commonly examine the digestive health of patients at the Stengler Center For Integrative Medicine, using stool tests in addition to blood tests. We can determine the level of leaky gut in patients with this type of testing. Treatment plans, including a Modified Mediterranean Diet, allergen-free diet, in addition to vital supplements like our Aloe-DGL-Glutamine, Mega Flora probiotic, and Digestive Wellness, are very effective in helping patients recover from leaky gut.

If you wish to improve your cognitive function, then do not forget to address your gut.